Dinner & A Movie: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

It’s that time of year again… grilling time! With Memorial Day quickly approaching, I thought this would be the perfect time for a summer edition of “Dinner and a Movie.” It would be so easy to just suggest BBQ or hamburgers and hot dogs for the holiday, but I am going to venture out and offer you something different.
The Dinner

There are chefs that just naturally know what to do. That is not me. I am one that believes if you can read, you can cook. So I am suggesting a few recipes from one of the grilling masters, Bobby Flay, from his cookbook Bobby Flay’s Grill It!
Fresh Pepper Sauce:
•   1 1/4 cups olive oil
•   1 grilled yellow bell pepper, peeled, seeded and finely diced
•   1 grilled poblano chile, peeled, seeded and finely diced
•   1 grilled serrano chile, peeled, seeded and finely diced, optional
•   1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
•   2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
•   1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
•   Freshly ground black pepper
•   Splash red wine vinegar, optional
•   2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Grilled Prawns:
•   24 prawns, in the shell, preferably with heads
•   1 tablespoon olive oil
•   1 teaspoon kosher salt
•   1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl, cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours before serving. Heat your grill to high. Toss the prawns with the oil in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Grill the prawns for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Remove to a platter and immediately spoon the sauce over shrimp with a slotted spoon. Serve hot.
Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto and Balsamic:
•   1 cup balsamic vinegar
•   1 tablespoon honey
•   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
•   3 peaches, halved and pitted
•   Canola oil
•   12 thin slices proscuitto
•   8 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
•   Extra-virgin olive oil

Put the vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cook until thick and syrupy, stir in the honey and season with salt and pepper, if using. Let cool slightly.

Brush the peach halves with oil and season with salt and pepper, if using. Place on the grill, cut side down and grill until golden brown. Turn over and grill for 1 minute longer. Remove the peaches from the grill and drizzle with the balsamic. Wrap or stuff each half with a slice of the prosciutto. Sprinkle the basil over the top and drizzle with olive oil.
The Movie

In honor of Memorial Day it is a good idea to stick to a movie that remembers those who fought for our freedom. I recommend the film Platoon (1986). This Best Picture Academy Award-winner from writer/director Oliver Stone is one powerful movie. It explores the chaos of war, especially the Vietnam War. Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger are polar opposites that clash to the brutal end. Both give top-notch performances, especially Berenger with his scared face is terrifying as Sgt. Barnes. Be sure to look for a very young Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen — they’re in there too!
Well, from the wanna-be chef and film junkie to you… enjoy the dinner. Enjoy the movie. And most of all, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

— Jim

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